College Academic Misconduct Defense at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

College is often thought of as a time to experiment, an opportunity to learn more about oneself, both through extracurriculars and through academics. One of the ways that the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) promotes growth through academics is in its commitment to academic honesty and integrity.

In fact, the school states that they believe “academic honesty and integrity are fundamental to the mission of higher education.” If you or a loved one is facing allegations of academic misconduct, you may be aware of the possible impact on your future career or academic studies. After spending thousands of dollars on your tuition, you don't want to throw it all away. Here's an overview of some of the most critical components of the academic misconduct process at UWM.

What Does UWM Consider Academic Misconduct?

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee outlines the parameters of what constitutes academic misconduct as well as provides examples of behavior that might fall into the category. So, what exactly are those parameters?

At their core, they are all linked to honesty and honest engagement in academic pursuits. Some examples of behavior that constitutes academic misconduct include:

  • Stealing exam or course materials
  • Submitting work as your own when someone else has completed it
  • Tampering with another student's lab equipment or computer program
  • Cheating on an exam or assignment
  • Assisting another student in behaviors that fall under academic dishonesty

The Disciplinary Process at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

UWM clearly outlines its disciplinary process for academic misconduct in great detail. The first stage occurs when an instructor suspects a student of misconduct. At this stage, the instructor will reach out to an instructional officer (IO) and discuss their concerns. The instructor will then meet with the student and have a conversation about the alleged incident. At this point, the instructor may determine that, in fact, academic misconduct did not take place. If this happens, then the process concludes.

If, however, the instructor believes that misconduct did transpire, then together with the IO, they will draft appropriate sanctions. At this point, the next steps depend on the type of sanctions. Group C sanctions immediately warrant an investigation by the IO. Group B sanctions lead to the instructor drafting a report and sending that report to the student, the IO, the Student Affairs Officer, and the Dean of Students.

At this point, the student may request a hearing (for Group B), or the case automatically goes to a hearing (Group C). If the student wishes to have a hearing for Group B sanctions, they have ten days to request one.

After the hearing occurs, a final decision is sent to the student. There are ten days to request an appeal. If the student chooses to appeal a suspension or expulsion, the case goes to the Chancellor. The only other instance in which an appeal may occur is a discretionary appeal, under UWS 14.10, to the board of regents.

What are Possible Consequences of Academic Misconduct?

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has a threefold organizational structure for its sanctions, depending on the severity of the offense. Group A sanctions are the least significant and include an oral reprimand, repetition of an assignment, or written reprimand. Group B sanctions are more extensive. They include:

  • Lowered or failing grade on assignment/ test
  • Lowered grade in course
  • Failing grade in course
  • Removal from the course
  • Personal probation
  • Written reprimand in disciplinary file

Group C sanctions are the most severe and include disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion.

As you can see, the varying sanctions can impact not only the alleged assignment (and subsequently, course) but also other courses or extracurriculars. Many athletic programs, for example, have academic requirements. Student-athletes with scholarships might find their scholarship in jeopardy. Additionally, suspension or expulsion can result in a loss of financial eligibility if your financial aid is dependent on enrollment in a specific number of credits each semester. Therefore, although the sanctions are academic in nature, they often have a domino effect and can affect all areas of your life. Let's take a look at some of the long-term consequences.

Is There a Long-Term Impact From Academic Misconduct?

Although college might seem as if it's a world apart from adulthood, the truth is that what occurs while at university can strongly impact your future. Academic misconduct, particularly, can be damaging for a number of reasons, especially if you are considering further education. As mentioned above, certain violations can result in suspension or even expulsion. Often, such instances are noted on your permanent academic record. That means that if you apply to graduate school, whether medical, law, or otherwise, the schools will see the mark noted on your transcript. This can decrease your odds of acceptance, as well as your ability to receive financial aid.

Is it Possible to Appeal a Decision?

It is possible to appeal a decision, and the steps to take depends on which stage of the process you're currently in. If an instructor assigns Group B sanctions for an offense, a student may appeal. In this instance, however, the appeal takes the form of moving on to a hearing. For Group A sanctions, you will not receive a notification of the right to appeal, however you still can appeal and move forward to a hearing.

If you want to appeal the decision from a hearing, you have ten days to appeal after you receive notice of the decision.

Experienced Attorney-Advisor for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

If you're facing allegations of academic misconduct at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, it is easy to think that it will resolve itself or that it's not that important. In fact, you don't want to waste time, as the consequences of academic misconduct can be long-lasting and very serious. If you wait until after your hearing, you will have missed a crucial window. Instead of waiting, consider contacting a skilled attorney-advisor who can help you navigate the academic process at UWM. Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have helped hundreds of students across the nation resolve these situations. With their many years of experience, they bring expertise and knowledge to each case they handle. Call today at 888.535.3686 or contact them online with any questions and concerns.